Wednesday, 19 September 2012

II Carcassonne & Lastours

A wonderful day is waiting for us, as we are going to visit la Cité de Carcassonne, an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne



    
Carcassonne
Carcassonne

The Trencavel dinasty was one of the most powerful families in the Midi during the XII century and Carcassonne was extremely influential.

However, in 1208 Carcassonne fell under papal rule during Pope Innocent III's crusade. James also explained that Carcassonne was later annexed to the French Crown and surrounded with fortified walls, making it almost impenetrable.   

Carcassonne
Carcassonne


                                                             


Carcassonne 

Carcassonne






                                                                   


                                                                                                                           


















We also had the chance to visit the museum and appreciate a magnificent collection of Gothic Art, as well as the Pierre Embry room and some paintings representing the fight between Christian knights and Saracens.

Carcassonne
Carcassonne
Carcassonne
Carcassonne
Carcassonne












After a delicious lunch nearby the Cité, we moved to Lastours where four chateaus (Cabaret, Surdespine, Quertinheux and Tour Régine) were built on the top of the Black Mountain between the XI and XIII centuries. 


Lastours
Lastours
Lastours
In 1961, the grave of a girl named "Princess of Lastours" was discovered together with some precious objects. These are the oldest known remains in a place belonging to the Bronze Age.   There was a sweet museum.

Lastours

Lastours
Lastours











Among some of the architectonic features, we can contemplate a distinct and exceptional "meurtrière" (top right).

Lastours
Lastours

Lastours
Lastours

James delighted us with the fascinating Cathar history and the huge influence that they have to western culture. 

Tomorrow we will have a medieval banquet and a conference in Saint Ferriol where James will be speaking and we will be able to learn much more. Looking forward to it!









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